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Thread: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

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    New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    Hi there, Hoping someone will have some advice . Our new pool was finished last summer, so it is less there 6 months old. We have a beautiful back wall built from McGregor Lake stone. Well, we noticed in several areas we are getting a white build up running down from stones on to the tile. We have had very little rain this winter, so this fact coupled with the fact it is brand new has me really concerned about what our pool will look like after a year or two, yikes! . I understand that this is part of pool ownership but this seems extreme and I am wondering if there are any preventive measures I can take? I thought it was calcium from the stone, but I spoke from the very nice rep. from Montana Rockworks (McGregor lake stone) and she said it is not coming from the stone, but from the mortar the mason used... She said it is fixable but call the stoyeyard and talk someone there. I spoke with them, they confirmed, yep its from the mortar. They weren't super helpful though as to what to do, said I could try some cleaner they sell there or try white vinegar, but couldn't tell me that mixture or process...They also said its efflorescence from lime in mortar and not calcium?
    So a couple of questions...
    Did the mason use the wrong mortar? Should I contact the pool builder?
    What is the best way to clean this?
    Can I seal the mortar?
    IMG_4610.jpg
    Sorry if this isn't very clear, I am a bit lost talking about this stuff. Any advice I would be grateful for.

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    Did the mason use the wrong mortar?
    I am sure it is basic cement mortar - which is proper.
    Should I contact the pool builder?
    You can - but do not be surprised they say that is normal when building walls with stones and mortar.
    What is the best way to clean this?
    You can use a dilute muriatic acid solution. But do not be surprised if it returns. It is from the minerals in the stone and mortar.
    Can I seal the mortar?
    You can, but the sealer has a tendency to turn yellow over time.
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
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    Marty

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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    Thanks so much for responding here! It is very disappointing that my brand new pool looks like this 6 months in and no real good solutions, wish I had realized that choosing a natural stone wall with mortar would do this so quickly.

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    Mod Squad mknauss's Avatar
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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    I can understand. Natural products look so good new. But they are not really well designed for the conditions they are placed in.

    Efflorescence should eventually lessen. It is typically accentuated if you have a moisture source on one side of the rock. Do you have dirt behind that rock face you showed? If so, did they use a moisture barrier on it prior to backfilling?
    6000 Gallon IG Fiberglass with integrated Spa;Pentair CCP240 Cartridge Filter with Pentair Intelliflo VS Pump and HTR250 heater. IC40 SWG. EasyTouch 4. Dolphin Active20 Robot "Roadrunner", TF 100 Test Kit w/SpeedStir!
    CLICK HERE to Become a TroubleFreePool.com Supporter!! Pool Math App
    Marty

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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    I just feel sick about it. Our pool and yard is very small and this wall runs the entire span of the 30 foot length, the white tiles are already an eyesore. I don't think they put any kind of sealer behind the cinder blocks they used to build the wall. But I do think that it is just from rain water coming down the front of the rock wall and mortar running on the tiles. Compounding the problem is probably the rough surface tile I picked. It has been a really dry year and I can only imagine what is in store for me when it really starts to rain . Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    IMG_4679.jpg

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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    I do have some good news for you. There is something you can do to make the tile look better. It will take some effort on your part but if you pick 10 tiles at one time and work on them you will get it done.

    Get some muratic acid and mix it 1 to 4 (m. acid to water) and spray it on a tile. Have you couple of different brushes ready. See what works best. Maybe even a plastic scrubbie as well. See what works best to get that off the tile. IF the 1 to 4 does not work move to more 1 to 3 and see if that helps.

    Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when you work with this. If any gets on you the pool is right there to rinse it off so you should be fine.

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

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    JoyfulNoise's Avatar
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    Re: New pool - Efflorescence or calcium

    Are you testing and treating the water yourself? Can you please post a full set of chemistry numbers from your test kit?
    Matt
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